South Carolina GOP Rep. Mick Mulvaney tells The Daily Caller his frustration with the “establishment wing of my party” is leading him to endorse Rand Paul for president this week.
Speaking by phone Monday morning, Mulvaney confirmed his endorsement and said the Kentucky senator’s best argument to voters is “I’m the outside guy who knows enough about what’s going on inside to fix it.”
“I think he wins that fight,” Mulvaney of Indian Land, S.C. said.
The South Carolina lawmaker is the first in the state’s congressional delegation to endorse a candidate in the Republican race. Mulvaney said he was initially reluctant to endorse, but the recent debate inside the Republican Party over defunding Planned Parenthood influenced him to jump in.
“I am so frustrated and so disappointed in the establishment wing of my party,” Mulvaney said. “From John Boehner to Mitch McConnell to all of the guys who have been there 30 years. They trot out on television every single day to say how we can’t defund Planned Parenthood.”
Added Mulvaney: “I’m just so angry that I decided to say, ‘what the heck, I’m going to get involved.'”
Paul could use some help in the Palmetto State, which holds one of the earliest primary dates on the calendar: the Real Clear Politics polling average has Paul in 11th place, with just 2.3 percent. But Mulvaney says he doesn’t buy the current polling, saying he thinks Paul has a strong base of support.
“When I go to a Rand Paul event down here, the group is younger, with a lot more brown and black faces than at any other Republican I go to,” he said. “My guess is those people aren’t getting polled.”
“We have to elect a president who is interested in seeing the power of the executive reduced,” he said. “We have to elect a president who is interested in seeing the checks and balances restored. And if anything, Rand Paul has been 100 percent consistent on that during his short time in politics.”
Mulvaney, who has gotten to know Paul over the last few years over golf rounds and baseball games, says he will be as active on the campaign trail as Paul wants: “Whatever he needs, wherever he needs it.”
The two will embark on an endorsement tour together this week, starting Wednesday with a visit to American Legion in Rock Hill. They will also campaign together at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and at a brewing company in Spartanburg.